Heavy Rain Blamed For Ft. Washington Slope Failure
FORT WASHINGTON, Md. (WNEW) — A 200-page report released this week sheds light on what caused a landslide-like event in Fort Washington that forced residents to evacuate nearly three weeks ago.
The report blames heavy rainfall in the days preceding the event for causing a “slope failure” on Piscataway Drive that forced the evacuation of 28 homes and caused water and sewage main breaks.
Cracks began to appear in the pavement on the street on May 2. The ground conditions continued to deteriorate and the most significant event occurred on May 4.
The director of the county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation, Darrell Mobley, says the strip of land is about 1,500 feet long. The depths of the failures range from 4 feet to 20 feet.
KCI Technologies concluded the slope was repairable after conducting a series of tests on the chunk of crumbled earth.
The company has proposed three option to stabilize the slope:
1) Drilled Shaft foundation along the east and west slopes abutting the roadway and Micropile Anchors at the head scarp upslope.
2) Drilled Shaft Foundation for east slope and Micropiles for west slope
3) Micropiles for both east and west slopes.
A timetable for the repairs has not been given.
Additional testing on the soil in the area has also been recommended.
Six of the houses that have been evacuated have been deemed unsafe due to the crack in the hill, five above the crack and one below. Twenty-two others have no water or sewage services.
Residents were told Thursday night that it could be months before they get to go home at the first community meeting since the report was released.
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WNEW’s Kevin Patrick contributed to this report.